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Weight gain during menopause
Last updated: Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Many women dread menopause because they are afraid that they will gain weight once their bodies stop producing female hormones. This fear is perfectly justified because we all know older women who have gained weight after their menopause.

Causes of weight gain
There are a number of factors that may contribute to the weight gain associated with menopause, namely:

  • lack of female hormones which slows down metabolism
  • use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • slowing down of basic metabolism with increasing age
  • lack of exercise
  • increased food intake due to emotional problems such as depression

Let’s consider each one of these factors that could cause weight gain in postmenopausal women and what can be done about them.

Hormone deficiency
The gradual decline in female hormone levels which occurs when women pass through the menopause can have totally opposite effects in different women. Some women lose their appetite and get thinner and thinner as they age. The majority of women, however, are exposed to the danger of gaining weight because their basic metabolic rate (BMR) slows down once their oestrogen and progesterone levels decrease. The solution is to make quite sure that you don’t start eating more than you did before the menopause and that you do as much exercise as possible, not only to burn excess energy, but also to stimulate your metabolism. Have your thyroid levels checked and if they are low, ask your doctor to prescribe thyroid hormone replacements like Eltroxin.

It is ironic that some women will gain weight because they lack female hormones and others will gain weight because they use HRT. Unfortunately any female hormone preparation (the Pill, HRT or hormone treatments for acne) can potentially cause an increase in body weight. The benefits of HTR are vast, so if you find that this treatment is causi ... Read more


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